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Objections to the draft - response.



Dear Sanjeev:

Thank you for the objections. I'll try to address them briefly here.

>> (a) Education shall be among the fundamental rights of all
>> citizens,

> let us come to a consensus, and let us decide once and for all
> whether we need to make education a fundamental right or not.

For me the answer is a clear YES. This goes back to an earlier line of
thought on which we have had some disagreement. Whereas you want the
government to stay out of most things under the consideration that the
machinery it brings usually harms more than helps, I have consistently
held that it is important to authorize the govt. to further those
interests which truly serve us. I believe that education is one such
area, where requiring the govt. to provide a service can create action
which would otherwise be far more limited.

>     6% of Gross Domestic Product shall be allocated for education.

I agree with you suggestion regarding the use of the word "shall".
Suitable amendments shall be made!

>> Schoo lunches

> This had run into rough weather. I thought it should be funded - if
> it is actually going go be feasible. What was Vikram's final view?

I thought the final view on this was that despite the potential for
irregularities, the effort has had some welcome effects, and is probably
worth pushing, along with better accountability.

>> English

UK and I had more or less agreed that gradual introduction to English
for relevant areas is a reasonable middle ground between our positions.
I have no problem with parents choosing, but they can only make choices
from among those available to them. If the govt is going to support
education, it is definitely warranted to set these parameters. These can
always be modified by parental choice. Which probably means that we
should include language suggesting greater value for parental choices in
the draft somewhere.

>> Despite this, government remains obliged to provide
>> education in all areas where no private parties are forthcoming to
>> assume the responsibility.

> I don't accept that we have to specify this. It is never going to be
> needed.

Perhaps we don't have to, but for a different reason. The govt
obligation can be seen to be inferred if education is a fundamental
right. Split the difference?

> term limits and pensions

will amend to include your point.

>> Panchayats shall appoint supervisors who shall be accountable for
>> the operation of schools within the jurisdiction of the panchayat.
>> Contractual appointments shall be made to such supervisory
>> positions.

> I don't like this at all. All responsibility should be 100% with the
> management committee where the Panchayat can be represented. But
> accountability has to be to the entire public (tax payers) through
> publication of the audited reports on the internet, and to the
> parents through the management committee.

I think either could be just as effective. I'm willing to go your way on
this.

It is nice to see that the differences have been reasonably well
resolved over the time we conducted the debate. I will make
modifications after Sanjeev's response and post a second version on the
weekend. Until then, further criticism is invited. Also, others please
help in splitting the differences between me and SS which are listed
here.

Regards,

Ash


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